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Last week I attended the 2016 NAEO (National Amtelco Equipment Owners) Annual Conference. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “It never ceases to amaze me how helpful and willing to share knowledge the people in this industry are!” So to keep in the spirit of the organization, here’s a summary of my experiences this trip!
An overview of this year’s conference highlights and take-aways:
This years’ conference was held in San Diego, CA at the Hilton Resort & Spa on Mission Bay.
Reconnecting with friends and industry colleagues, making new ones, and serving as a conference ‘buddy’ for a first timer.
The first keynote speaker Colin Sprake is a heart-centered Business Sherpa, author, speaker, and trainer. He left us with tools and strategies we can use immediately in both our personal and business lives to achieve greater success and make a positive impact.
The second keynote speaker Michael Gunther spoke to us about building a collaborative team environment and how to become the leader that our teams desire.
For the first time I ran for the NAEO Board of Directors; unfortunately I did not get voted in. But with all the consolation hugs and words of encouragement I received, I’d be ok with losing every time! I feel truly blessed by all of the support I received! Rossi, Ian and Robert did get voted in and they are great additions to the board. I wish them all the best during their term!
There were great Operations, Sales/Marketing and Technical breakout sessions as well as the wonderful Round Tables discussions! As it often happens, I wish I could have been in more than one session at a time as there was just that much great content! The conference committee put together a fantastic conference again this year!
An overview of the technical and software information we learned:
Learned more about SQL,= and stored procedures
Learned Crystal Reporting and some different ways other centers are using it.
A ‘refreshed’ direction on moving forward with IS (Intelligent Series) programming
New programming ideas to better assist some of our clients
People don’t like change, so call it ‘enhancements’
Thinking positive is only half of the equation. The other half is how you feel. If you think rich, but feel poor, you will always get what you feel.
Vision + Expectations + Communication + Accountability + Development + Innovation + Balance = TRUST
Other memories and things I learned on my adventure:
Best Buddy Brian is the best Buddy ever!
The newly formed Band of Misfits is a ‘catch-all’ group of all my friends
‘Lord Robert’ appears when you least expect and will grant one wish and/or help you cross something off of your bucket list
The Gaslamp District is full of laughs and adventures
It’s easy to tell if it’s the first time you’ve used Uber
Kurt is great at creating taglines “Stick a NikiFORK in it and consider it done!’
We really do enjoy calling each other Slackers! However it can make it more difficult to find each other lol
All in all it was a fantastic trip! Thank you to everyone at the conference and of course everyone at the office who covered for me while I was away!
The National Amtelco Equipment Owner's (NAEO) annual conference starts next week and it got me thinking about what specifically I look forward to. There are so many things I had a hard time narrowing it down, but these are probably my top 10 reasons/benefits (in no particular order):
1. Have loads of fun, laughs and adventure
2. Meet new people
3. Reconnect with some 'old' friends (in person)
4. Sharing ideas and support with industry colleagues
5. Visit a city I've never been to before; or explore different areas of a city that I have been to before
6. Learn about new software and features
7. Learn new programming skills/techniques
8. Learn more about different industry best practices
9. Discover more opportunities on how to be more involved with the association
10. Bringing back all the new ideas and experiences back to share with our crew!
Yesterday, October 28, site examiner Dan L'Heureux visited our site for our CAM-X Site Recertification. We are extremely excited to announce that we passed with flying colors!
You’re probably thinking, “What exactly is the CAM-X Site Certification and what does it mean?” Site Certification is a three year certification governed by either ATSI (Association of TeleServices International) or CAM-X (Canadian Call Management Association). It means that we go through a set of criteria that covers best practices and guidelines for Telephone Answering Services (TAS) to adhere to. The criteria covers a range of topics including emergency procedures & recovery techniques, procedure documentation, system maintenance, back-ups, good business practices, employee safety, ongoing education and more!
I often get asked why we choose to participate in this. There several reasons why we participate; my top reasons are:
- It’s a great learning opportunity! Having to go through all the criteria is a great way for team members to learn various things they may not have known before.
- A great opportunity to review processes and procedures and pick them apart to see if and how you can improve them.
- It’s a chance to have another set of eyes look over your procedures to see if they can ‘poke holes’ in them to find out if you may have over-looked something.
- Another way for us to support and participate in different Telephone Answering Service industry associations.
This process takes many man hours and is definitely a team effort! Thank you to the whole team that works hard to make sure we continue these standards 24/7/365!
Our Site Certification History:
- ATSI May 10, 2006
- CAM-X September 6, 2012
- CAM-X October 28, 2015
Intercon is all about education and we educate continually. We have a wonderful education grid which is designed for anyone within the company to advance at a pace that is reasonable but challenging. We also have regular staff meetings to encourage you on your journey of personal and professional growth.
We believe having fun at work matters and try to laugh often. We also plan fun activities all year around.
Flexibility means you work all types of shifts and to us being flexible means when you ask for a day off you get it. It also means to us that you get every second weekend off. It also means that if you choose to pick up extra shifts, we do not discourage that.
By design we work everyday on building a culture of respect. Part of our personal development includes sessions designed to increase self-respect and respect for others. To the best of our ability we act and behave respectfully toward all.
Our organization teaches integrity and we use that word in the context of if I say I will do it, I do it. I do what I say I will do.
By educating, having fun, being flexible, respectful and teaching people to do what they say they will do we are in the position and have the organizational capacity to create innovative solutions for our clients.
We live by the above values of education, fun, flexibility, respect, integrity and innovation and use these three guiding principles to make these decisions: